We often don’t think of gypsy moths as damaging conifers but it can be a big problem! Left unchecked young trees can be killed in a single season.
Scouting for egg masses in nurseries and Christmas tree plantings is important from autumn to early spring before the eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars. It’s not too late! Stick your head in the trees and look at the trunks to see if there any tan-white egg masses.
Normally the caterpillars begin to hatch outdoors sometime in early May.
Young caterpillars on the move! These hatched from an egg mass that was left in the lab for several days at room temperature.
The young caterpillars are the most susceptible and easiest to control compared to caterpillars that have grown larger.
For more information see the Cornell Insect Diagnostic Laboratory factsheet on gypsy moths.